Bird Photography Learning Opportunities « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Bird Photography Learning Opportunities

What’s Up?

Not much. I have spent lots of time relaxing for the past two days and have been doing my 3/4 mile swim each afternoon in delightful weather. I do get down to the lake at ILE each morning for a short photo session. This morning I was trying out a new ballhead with the 600 VR, the FlexShoooter. Details soon.

I was glad to learn yesterday that Anita North and Jim Miller have signed up for the 2019 Fort DeSoto Short-Notice Sandbar Secrets IPT. That leaves just two slots open. Scroll down for the details.

Kudos via e-mail From Luis Alberto Grunauer, Jr.


My second IPT experience with you was not only an amazing and extraordinary experience again, but the three days I spent with you and Anita at ILE were nothing short of magical! I know I keep sounding like a broken record, but I can’t thank you enough for your teachings, your professionalism, your wisdom, and your hospitality. I loved every single second at ILE and on the DeSoto IPT…

With your guidance on the field, now I have a much better understanding of sun angle, and I am now able to photograph birds in full manual mode at all times. And… Yes! I loved the times that you came to my area and helped me to get rid of the bad habit of holding the lens with my left hand closer to the camera body instead of holding it half way down the lens barrel and also the times you busted me for not getting closer to the birds. As on the San Diego IPT, I did love every single second of it!

As getting better at composition and framing as well as getting closer to the birds continues to be a challenge for me, I cheer your relentless enthusiasm on making me improve my approach and technique to these two critical aspects of bird and wildlife photography. I will continue to get better and better as I attend more IPTs, which is something I strongly encourage to those who are extremely serious about taking their bird and wild life photography to the next level and learn from the Very Best in the business!

I look forward seeing you in the Galapagos IPT and perhaps Bosque Del Apache if my travel commitments for 2019 do not conflict.

With lots of Love and sincere appreciation!

Luis Alberto Grunauer

This image was created on a May 14, 2017 Gatorland In-the-Field session with the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and the rugged, blazingly fast Canon EOS-1D X Mark II. ISO 400. Evaluative metering -1/3 stop: 1/2500 sec. at f/6.3. AWB.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: -1.

One row up and one to the right of the center AF point/AI Servo/Expand/Shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point was just to the right of the bird’s eye.

Cattle Egret in breeding plumage, squawking

Gatorland In-the-Field Session Saturday 27 APR, 2019

Join me at Gatorland this coming Saturday and learn a ton. Right now is prime time for Cattle Egrets in prime breeding plumage. Check out Joe Przybyla’s killer Cattle Egret from last week in his BPN post here. In addition, there are some good opps with Great Egret chicks. Most folks who visit Gatorland simply have no clue. Join me to learn to photograph at easily accessible rookeries. An intermediate telephoto lens is all that you will need. Learn to think and see like a pro.

Morning Session — 7-10am: $200.00
Morning Session with a 90-minute working lunch including image review and Photoshop: $300.00.

Fort DeSoto in spring is rife with tame birds, many in full breeding plumage. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

Clockwise from upper left around to center: Laughing Gull landing on head of Brown Pelican, Laughing Gull in flight, Reddish Egret sunrise silhouette, Great Blue Heron with needlefish, Yellow-crowned Night Heron with ghost crab, Roseate Spoonbill, Sanderling in breeding plumage, and white morph Reddish Egret in glorious breeding plumage.

The 2019 Fort DeSoto Short-Notice Sandbar Secrets IPT/Sunday May 5 through the morning session on Wednesday May 8, 2019: 3 1/2 DAYS: $1649. Limit 4/Openings: 2. Meet and greet at 7PM on the evening of Saturday May 4.

With two folks signed up on the first day I still have room for two more. In addition to the usual mega-learning I will be sharing lots of my new-found DeSoto knowledge with the group on this IPT. See the complete announcement here.

If In Doubt …

If in doubt about using the BAA B&H affiliate link correctly, you can always start your search by clicking here. Please note that the tracking is invisible. Web orders only. Please, however, remember to shoot me your receipt via e-mail.

Please Remember to use my Affiliate Links and to Visit the New BAA Online Store 🙂

To show your appreciation for my continuing efforts here, we ask, as always, that you get in the habit of using my B&H affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your photo and electronics purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod head, Wimberley lens plates, Delkin flash cards and accessories, and LensCoat stuff.

As always, we sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And please remember that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

I would of course appreciate your using our B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases. For the photographic stuff mentioned in the paragraph above, and for everything else in the new store, we, meaning BAA, would of course greatly appreciate your business. Here is a huge thank you to the many who have been using our links on a regular basis and those who will be visiting the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store as well.


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In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right :).

9 comments to Bird Photography Learning Opportunities

  • I love that cattle egret picture. Did you do cleanup to the birds beak ? I’m not sure I’ve seen a heron or egret with the beak that clean and beautiful looking ever. They usually are scuffed or reflect some wear and tear. I love the shot but always wonder if the beak was that good looking or if you gave it a little cleanup to pretty it up and bring out it’s beauty…. Waiting on pins and needles to know. Glad all had such a good time on you IPT….maybe one day….I’m hoping.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Jeff. Yes, I did clean up the bird’s bill. A clean Cattle Egret bill is rarer than a hen’s tooth …

      Where do you live? Are you on BPN?

      with love, artie

      • So Cal, my favorite spots and most frequented is Bolsa Chica. Back Bay is a nice drive thru and the Audobon house and duck ponds in Irvine.(Sea and Sage) Haven’t signed up there, is that a free login and format. I’m a little intimidated as I don’t have lot of extra spending money to afford all the incredible gear. Just recently purchased a 7D MK II. I have seen your links for BPN. Can photos be submitted their for critique and advice. Hopefully gentle?

  • avatar Steve

    I think Nikon cameras are generally better made than Canons, especially in the “consumer grade” bodies. But Canon’s lenses are extraordinary, as good or better than anything out there, and have been since the introduction of the FD lens series in 1971 or thereabouts.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      As I always say most of the high end cameras in all systems are better than most photographers and most lenses, telephoto and otherwise are sharper than most photographers …

      with love, artie

      • avatar Steven Schiff

        I notice you sold off your 200-500mm Nikkor — I believe it was your first Nikon lens. I know that lenses like the 500mm PF and 500mm f/4 are better than the cheaper zoom, but how was that lens overall? (I strongly considered buying it, but decided I wanted to get one with a warranty.)

        • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

          Thanks for your question. It is a fabulous lens, and yes, it was my first Nikon lens. I made a ton of great images with it. Anita North was not able to get a 500 PF until this week and she has made a zillion great images with hers in many different locations ranging from Cayman Brac to Antarctica to Florida. There have been many times when I wished that I could have zoomed out but could not. And if you check old blogs posts (do a search for 200-500), you will see that I used it with success with the TC-E14. Best of all, it is inexpensive. If you do plan on using it on a tripod I would advise getting the RRS tripod collar as the Nikon collar sticks something awful when you try to rotate the lens too go vertical.

          As always, please remember to use my B&H links (below) or Contact Steve Elkins at Bedford to save a few bucks (as above).

          Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR Lens

          Really Right Stuff Collar Foot Package for Nikon AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR Lens

          Thanks with love, artie

  • avatar Doug Jackson

    I didn’t know Canon could take such a beautiful image! 🙂

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      I did :). I took many thousands of great and even contest-winning images with my Canon gear over 34 years.

      with love, artie

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